SIMA To Donate Proceeds From 2005 Waterman’s Weekend To 10 Environmental Organizations

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (April 6, 2005) – The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) announced today that the proceeds from the 2005 Waterman’s Weekend, the surf industry’s annual environmental fundraiser, will be distributed among 10 environmental organizations that will dedicate those funds to programs that will address water quality and ocean pollution issues, defend beaches and surf breaks from development, or provide public education about ocean conservation. SIMA aims to raise $400,000 at the 2005 Waterman’s Weekend to donate to these environmental organizations.

The 10 environmental organizations selected to receive a percentage of the proceeds from the Waterman’s Weekend in the form of a 2005 SIMA Environmental Fund grant are: Surfrider Foundation, Ocean Institute, WiLDCOAST, Heal the Bay, Orange County CoastKeeper, Surfing Education Association, Alaska Wilderness League, Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Algalita Marine Research Foundation and Save the Waves Coalition. Each organization was chosen by the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors based on their commitment of funds to specific projects that will protect and preserve oceans, beaches and/or surf breaks. All of the organizations are returning beneficiaries.

“The SIMA Environmental Fund aims to provide increasing support for ocean-based environmental causes each year. We have again focused on 10 organizations that we feel best protect the ocean environment – ranging from educational programs to activist outreach – and our goal is to raise $400,000 to distribute to these very deserving groups, said Paul Naude, chairman of the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors and CEO of Billabong USA. “More and more environmental battles are being won, but there are countless others that need support. This is where the SIMA Environmental Fund can make a difference as the funds raised during Waterman’s Weekend go directly to support these organizations and their efforts to protect our oceans. Poor water quality and beach closures affect the surf industry directly and, as a result, surf industry companies have a vested interest in ensuring that our oceans continue to be healthy and accessible.

The SIMA Environmental Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation formed by the surf industry to provide support in the form of grants to environmental organizations. The annual Waterman’s Weekend serves as the primary fundraiser for the SIMA Environmental Fund through the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament and Waterman’s Ball and Auction. This year’s Waterman’s Classic will take place August 26 at the Monarch Beach Golf Links. The Waterman’s Ball and Auction will be held August 27 at The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa in Dana Point, California. In addition to raising money for the environment, the Waterman’s Ball will be the venue for the surf industry to honor three-time world champion Andy Irons as SIMA Waterman of the Year for his impact on competitive surfing, former executive director of the Surfrider Foundation Chris Evans as SIMA Environmentalist of the Year for his efforts to save the oceans through environmental activism, and legendary surf photographer Larry “Flame Moore with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his lasting influence on surf photography and the surf industry.

In selecting the 2005 SIMA Environmental Fund grant recipients, the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors requested that applicants submit a proposal detailing how the funds would be used to improve the ocean ecology or surf locations. Each organization’s proposal included a description of the specific program that the grant would be directed to, including a justification of the program and expected environmental impact.

Following is a list of the 2005 SIMA Environmental Fund grant recipients along with a description of the program(s) to which the organizations will be directing their grants:

Surfrider Foundation
Grant will enable efforts to provide the public wwith the information needed to assess the health of our beaches through the annual State of the Beach report, to protect or enhance surf locations through the Beachscape coastal mapping program, educate children in schools with the Respect the Beach program, and to ensure or protect the quality of water in the surf zone through the Blue Water Task Force program.

Ocean Institute
Grant will support the Watershed Education Program that is designed to bring fifth grade students in the communities once removed from the beach to the Institute for hands-on education about the environmental impact of their behaviors.

WiLDCOAST
Dedicated funds will support continued efforts to save surf breaks in Baja California by stopping the Mexican National Tourism Fund (FONATUR) from building marinas including an international media campaign, promotion of an independent feature documentary The Baja Wave Document, the Annual Ocean Festival and Surf Competition in Punta Abreojos, training of local activists to be media spokespeople and an ongoing lawsuit against the Mexican government.

Heal the Bay
Funds will support programs to ensure that Los Angeles area waterbody quality regulations conform to the clean water act, as well as to support a program working to establish the first marine protected areas in Santa Monica.

Orange County CoastKeeper
Grant will support efforts to reduce the health threats to wave riders and swimmers caused by urban runoff pollution in the coastal zones of Orange County, Calif., through the Coastal Water Improvement Program and advocacy efforts aimed at all levels of government.

Surfing Education Association
Dedicated funds will be used to prevent destructive legislation from being passed that would threaten surfing sites at Waikiki Beach and other surfing areas on O’ahu.

Alaska Wilderness League
Dedicated funds will help protect sensitive marine and coastal areas offshore of the Arctic Refuge from oil exploration or development.

Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Funds will be used to educate young people about the role marine science plays in understanding and conserving the world’s oceans.

Algalita Marine Research Foundation
Funds will be used to support the curriculum development and distribution of the Watershed Wonders education program for junior and senior high schools with the goal of educating students about the harmful effects of non-biodegradable plastic debris on marine life.

Save the Waves Coalition
Funds will assist in the production of a full-length documentary film, Lost Jewel of the Atlantic, intended to share the history of surfing in Madeira, Portugal, and to raise awareness of the threats to Madeira’s sacred surf spots.

Sponsorship packages for both the 2005 Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament and Waterman’s Ball and Auction will be on sale in May. Individual tickets for the Waterman’s Ball are scheduled to go on sale in July. To reserve a sponsorship package or for sponsorship information, please contact Melinda Carter at SIMA by calling (949) 366-1164 or via e-mail at melinda@sima.com.

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the official working trade association of more than 300 surf industry suppliers. Founded in 1989, SIMA is a non-profit organization that serves to promote awareness of the surf industry and participation in the sport of surfing through public relations efforts and a variety of services, educational programs and research. In addition, SIMA actively supports oceanic environmental efforts through its 501(c)(3) charitable environmental foundation, the SIMA Environmental Fund. In the past 15 years, the SIMA Environmental Fund has raised more than $2.5 million for environmental groups seeking to protect the world’s oceans, beaches and waves.